Toby Brown (upper left in white sweater) of New York Rovers looks for a rebound (puck indicated by arrow) in finals against Spokane Flyers in 1950. Note the goal judge on the ice behind Spokane’s net.
Glen (Toby) Brown
Born: August 9, 1923 (Brandon, Manitoba)
Died: April 18, 2014 (Nanaimo, British Columbia)
Toby Brown was a fleet forward and one of the top amateur hockey players of the post-war era. His goals helped take the Regina Caps to the Allan Cup finals in 1949 and the American amateur championships the following year. Alas, his teams lost both finals.
Glen Brown, nicknamed Toby, was born in Brandon, Man., the youngest of nine children. He enlisted in the Canadian navy in 1942 and saw duty on North Atlantic convoy routes during the war. He also played a season of junior hockey with the Regina Commandos.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound forward joined the Los Angeles Monarchs of the Pacific Coast Hockey League in 1945-46, scoring 13 goals and adding 17 assists in 35 games.
He returned to Canada to play for the Regina Caps the following season, the first of five campaigns with the senior team, during which he scored 21, 20, 11, 19 and 12 goals.
In the 1949 playoffs, the Caps, coached by Art Somers, defeated the Lethbridge Maple Leafs (3 games to none), Edmonton Flyers (4-0-1), Trail Smoke Eaters (4-0) and the Fort Francis Canadians (3-2) to earn the right to play the Ottawa Senators for the Allan Cup senior championship.
In the playoffs, Brown centered a Kid Line with Gordie Staeson and Bill (Red) Tilson on the wings. Brown scored the last of his four playoff goals in the deciding game of the Allan Cup finals, a 5-3 loss that gave the Senators the cup in five games.
After spending the 1949-50 regular season with the Caps, Brown was added to the roster of the New York Rovers of the Eastern Amateur Hockey League. He scored six goals and added seven assists in 12 playoff games to help the Rovers claim the league title and a shot at the national championship.
Brown scored three goals and added an assist in the first two final games against the Spokane Flyers (a 3-2 overtime loss and a 4-1 victory). With a young Lorne (Gump) Worsley in goal and Brown scoring, Rovers coach Phil Watson thought his team a cinch to claim the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association championship.
As well, the Spokane players seemed intimidated by the roughhousing of the the New Yorkers.
“The Rovers are Murder Incorporated, turned loose on the ice,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle complained. “Their performances include vicious stick-swinging, nearly always intentional, rugged boarding checks and plenty of jabbing elbows, stick butts and the like.”
The Flyers managed to shut down Brown, who scored only one more goal in the following five games, as Spokane claimed the title in seven games.
Brown completed his playing career with a three-game stint with the Charlottetown Islanders in 1951-52.
He moved to Victoria, B.C., where he worked for Canadian Stevedoring before transferring up island to Nanaimo in 1961